Reporter Lee Eui-jin = Koo Ja-yeol (70), who was called ‘the godfather of bicycle’ for his passion for cycling, recently resigned from the post of chairman of the Korea Bicycle Federation, which he had held for 14 years.
The Korea Bicycle Federation announced on the 16th that “former chairman Koo submitted his resignation on the 31st of last month,” and “according to the articles of incorporation, the first regular board meeting of this year was held on the following day, the 1st of this month, and senior vice chairman Lee Dae-hoon was elected as acting president.”
He added, “The Korea Sports Council, a higher-level organization, approved the election of the acting president on the 8th.”
According to the federation, former chairman Koo announced his intention to resign two years ago to focus on business affairs.
However, it is said that he could not let go of his pivotal role as chairman until the beginning of this year, considering the situation surrounding the federation and cycling world, such as the novel coronavirus (Corona 19) pandemic.
Koo, who was inaugurated as the 24th head of the Korea Cycling Federation in February 2009, led the organization for 14 years as the 25th, 26th, and 27th president.
Even after the federation was newly launched in 2016 as the Korea Cycling Federation, an integrated elite and life sports organization, he was elected president and continued his term with the full support of cyclists.
In his inaugural address in 2009, Chairman Koo promised, “I will work hard to create a foundation for nurturing young athletes and improve the quality of leaders in order to realize the dream of winning an Olympic medal in cycling that has not been achieved in 60 years.”
In fact, he has delivered encouragement money to athletes participating in the Olympics or Asian Games, and he showed his desire for medals by promising rewards to Lee Hye-jin and Na Areum, who participated in the women’s bicycle race and individual road at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, Korean cycling failed to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and Chairman Koo handed over the important task of achieving that dream to his successor.
Former Chairman Koo is a well-known ‘bicycle lover’.
Koo, who competed in the 2002 Transalps Mountain Bike Competition held in Germany, was named the first Asian finisher. 토토사이트
The Trans-Alps is a high-level rally that exceeds 18 peaks in the Alps at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level. A total of 650 km must be run for 6 nights and 7 days, making it comparable to the Paris-Dakar Rally of car racing.
He is also a collector with a collection of over 300 bicycles, which are ‘museum scale’, including antiques and rare items.
In 2018, the Gwacheon National Science Museum held the ‘World Rare Bicycle Collective Exhibition’ with this collection.
Hwang Gyu-il, secretary-general of the federation, said, “He has helped Korean cycling both physically and mentally. He is stepping down after giving a big boost to developing cycling culture.”
“In the end, there was no Olympic medal, but he supported (the federation) enough to have an athlete who ranked first in the world in Asia,” he added.
Lee Hye-jin, the ‘jockey’ of Korean cycling, won a silver medal and a gold medal in women’s bicycle races at the Track World Cup held in Belarus and Hong Kong in November and December 2019, respectively.